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  • Feb 25, 2020
    This article was first published in Deccan Chronicle. Earlier last week, The Verge ran a story about how health apps had permissions to change their terms of service without the user’s knowledge. If you are a former alcoholic who tracks how many days it has been since your last cigarette or a depressed professional who is […]
  • Feb 25, 2020
    French President Emmanuel Macron wants European Union countries to discuss the possibility of giving France’s nuclear forces a broader role in European security. Is this a feasible idea? What is Macron’s game plan? Aditya Ramanathan, Nischitha Suresh and Pranav RS try to unpack Macron’s motivations and whether they make any sense for Europe. Follow Aditya […]
  • Feb 24, 2020
    This article was first published in Deccan Chronicle. If you try to keep up to date with the tech policy debates in India, intermediary liability is one of those few topics you cannot escape. In very oversimplified terms, the debate here is whether companies like Facebook should be held accountable for the content that is […]
  • Feb 24, 2020
    I. The Big Story: CMC Decrees and Measures Tightening Security: China has tightened the confidentiality rules for overseas cooperation and arms fairs as the PLA steps up exchanges with foreign counterparts. President Xi Jinping signed a decree last week to improve confidentiality for important military events, exchanges and arms fairs abroad. Increased confidentiality was a part of revised […]
  • Feb 24, 2020
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    Even as India receives US President Donald Trump with fanfare it remains committed to a multipolar world order. But is such an order really conducive to India’s rise? Manoj Kewalramani, Anirudh Kanisetti and Aditya Ramanathan consider the question and a lively debate ensues. Follow Aditya on Twitter: @adityascripts Follow Anirudh on Twitter: @AKanisetti Follow Manoj Kewalramani on […]
  • Feb 23, 2020
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    Boots on the ground are secondary; India’s key objective in Afghanistan should be to help the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan claim a monopoly over the legitimate use of physical force. India can contribute a lot towards capacity building of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF). The biggest challenges it currently faces are related to […]
  • Feb 21, 2020
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    A new speech by Xi Jinping shows that the Chinese leadership was aware of the outbreak well before strict measures were taken. Is this an admission of systemic failure or signalling of strength? Manoj Kewalramani and Shambhavi Naik take stock of all the developments related to the outbreak. Follow Manoj Kewalramani on Twitter @theChinaDude Follow Shambhavi […]
  • Feb 21, 2020
    Genome Edited Organisms: Regulatory Framework and Guidelines for Risk Assessment The Review Committee on Genetic Manipulation (RCGM) has released draft guidelines on genome edited organisms: regulatory framework for risk assessment. Public consultation is open till Sunday 23rd February, 2020. The guidelines categorise genetically edited organisms (plants, animals and humans) based on extent of genetic change, extent of […]
  • Feb 21, 2020
    The focus on the country’s middle class ignores the problems of the millions in the informal sector. In 2001, Jim O’Neill, a British economist working with Goldman Sachs, first coined the acronym BRIC to identify the four rapidly growing economies at the heart of the shift in the global economic power – Brazil, Russia, India […]
  • Feb 19, 2020
    The Print’s daily roundtable TalkPoint posed a question connected to the US President’s upcoming India visit: Will the spectacle of Trump visit without a trade deal boost India-US ties? The US-India relationship over the last four years has been a case of one step forward, two steps backwards. The convergence on the threat posed by China has led […]
  • Feb 19, 2020
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    The 15th Finance Commission has come out with a slew of recommendations. Which states stand to gain and which ones stand to lose? Anupam Manur and Pranay Kotasthane examine some of the implications of the commission’s interim report. Follow: Anupam on Twitter: @anupammanur Pranay Kotasthane on Twitter: @pranaykotas Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox […]
  • Feb 18, 2020
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    This article was first published in Deccan Chronicle. Last week, multiple news outlets reported that the website housing NRC data had gone offline. Reportedly, this happened because a cloud services contract procured by Wipro on behalf of the State government of Assam was not renewed and thus, turned off due to non-payment. For now, officials […]
  • Feb 18, 2020
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    In this week’s Reading the Economist, Aditya Ramanathan is joined by Anirudh Kanisetti and Suyash Desai to discuss the failure of UN peacemaking, arms sales in the Middle East, and the politics of Ireland, the Phillippines, and Kazakhstan. Follow Aditya on Twitter: @adityascripts Follow Anirudh on Twitter: @AKanisetti Follow Suyash Desai: @Suyash_Desai
  • Feb 17, 2020
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    Is China now playing nice after years of assertiveness? Does India’s policy of “evasive balancing” make any sense? Manoj Kewalramani and Suyash Desai join Aditya Ramanathan to debate new ideas about the politics of the Indo-Pacific.
  • Feb 14, 2020
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    As the coronavirus continues to take a lethal toll across the world, Manoj Kewalramani and Shambhavi Naik take stock of recent developments and try to make a better sense of China’s response. Follow: Manoj Kewalramani @theChinaDude Shambhavi Naik @TheNaikMic
  • Feb 14, 2020
    Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom from an Indian interests perspective.  I. Coronavirus Update There have been a bunch of developments related to the coronavirus outbreak in China. Like last week, I’ll try and compile some of the key aspects of the story, beginning with […]
  • Feb 13, 2020
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    After hundreds of years of caste endogamy, one would think that Indian society would be far more open to intercaste marriages than it actually is. Shambhavi Naik and Sarthak Pradhan unpack the science and political economy of intercaste marriage with Anirudh Kanisetti, busting myths, discussing history, and pointing out the very real ramifications for public […]
  • Feb 12, 2020
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    Facebook recently stated that a doctored video of U.S. congresswoman Nancy Pelosi did not violate community guidelines. So what constitutes fake news? And what are the big social media companies doing about it? Anirudh Kanisetti talks to Prateek Waghre and Rohan Seth about today’s information disorder. Follow Prateek on Twitter: @prateekwaghre Follow Anirudh on Twitter: @AKanisetti Follow […]
  • Feb 11, 2020
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    We propose a model to operationalise lateral induction in the Indian armed forces to tackle the burden of growing pensions. Read the full article in The Print here.
  • Feb 11, 2020
    Nuclear weapons are in vogue once again. They make headlines every few weeks, if not every other day. Indeed, Russia’s fancy new weapons do echo the days of the Cold War, when the US and Soviet Union raced build a panoply of weapon-systems suited for just about any enemy target. With the slow demise of […]
  • Feb 11, 2020
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    In this week’s Reading the Economist, Aditya Ramanathan, Anirudh Kanisetti, and Sarthak Pradhan explore everything from the consequences of the Atlantic Slave Trade to Britain’s nuclear deterrent, the economic costs of the Wuhan coronavirus, and the challenge of financial inclusion in India. Follow Aditya on Twitter: @adityascripts Follow Anirudh on Twitter: @AKanisetti Follow Sarthak on Twitter: @PSarthak19 […]
  • Feb 10, 2020
    This article was originally published in Deccan Herald. The term ‘fake news’ – popularised by a certain world leader – is today used as a catch-all term for any situation in which there is a perceived or genuine falsification of facts irrespective of the intent. But the term itself lacks the nuance to differentiate between […]
  • Feb 10, 2020
    As we begin our journey into the third decade of the 21st century, the Doomsday Clock strikes 100 seconds to midnight, the closest in history, thus telling us that we are ever closer to the brink of annihilation than ever before. The Doomsday Clock is a symbolic design created by the Bulletin of the Atomic […]
  • Feb 10, 2020
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    Nearly six months after the internet shutdown in J&K, the Union government’s decision to partially lift the shutdown has been riddled with controversy. Why is this judgement so controversial? In this special episode, Rohan Seth first talks to Apar Gupta, the director of Indian Freedom Foundation, and Prateek Waghre about the Anuradha Bhasin case judgement […]
  • Feb 10, 2020
    Google has recently announced a $1 million grant to help fight misinformation in India. This could not have come at a better time. Misinformation has is a reality and bi-product of the Indian and global information age. It could be Kiran Bedi on Twitter claiming that the sun chants Om or WhatsApp forwards saying that […]
  • Feb 8, 2020
    India bans export of PPE As the coronavirus outbreak spreads across the world and reaches our shores, India banned the exports of PPE on 31st January. The actual utility of the N95 mask is disputed, but it does act as a barrier to droplets. Droplets may act as reservoirs for the virus. India is a net importer of […]
  • Feb 8, 2020
    Bengaluru: As India becomes more globalised, there are intense deliberations in orthodox families on the merits of getting married within their own community. The obvious go-to-market strategy is to ask for family recommendations and visit websites tailored for the community. This is typically followed by patrika and gotra matching, and some family meetings. But as our scientific understanding of diseases […]
  • Feb 7, 2020
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    The Takshashila Institution hosted a roundtable on 24 January 2020 to discuss policy solutions to some of the unique issues in platform marketplaces. Finding the balance between mitigating the harm caused by platforms while ensuring that these businesses continue to provide an enormous amount of social surplus is of paramount importance. This Blue Paper collates […]
  • Feb 7, 2020
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    The coronavirus continues to spread across China and beyond. The WHO has declared a global health emergency, and governments across the world are rushing to contain it. But it’s a challenge that the world is well-equipped to tackle. Anirudh Kanisetti, Manoj Kewalramani and Shambhavi Naik take stock of recent developments and unpack the myths about […]
  • Feb 6, 2020
    The coronavirus outbreak originating in China has made its way across the globe, with nearly 12,000 confirmed cases. There are three confirmed cases in India as of 5 February 2020. There is considerable panic as countries race to contain its spread through screening and quarantine measures. Companies and universities have pressed into action; trying to figure out […]
  • Feb 6, 2020
    Data is a complex, dynamic issue. We often like to make large buckets where we want to classify it. The Personal Data Protection Bill does this by making five broad categories, personal data, personal sensitive data, critical personal data, non-personal data, and anonymised data. While it is nice to have these classifications that help us […]
  • Feb 6, 2020
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    India’s Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat announced that the armed forces would transition to theatre commands in the next three years. Why does India need theatre commands and what should they look like? Lt General Prakash Menon joins Aditya Ramanathan and Suyash Desai to talk about the difficulties and opportunities ahead as India […]
  • Feb 5, 2020
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    Union Budgets are an annual ritual marked by pageantry and breathless commentary. But how important are they? In this episode, Anupam Manur and Pranay Kotasthane discuss how the budget really impacts the economy and our daily lives. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast app.
  • Feb 4, 2020
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    The Wuhan coronavirus, or nCoV-2019, is likely to become a pandemic in the coming weeks, having already infected at least 17,000 and killed some 400. The World Health Organization has belatedly declared a public health emergency, while at least 45 million Chinese citizens remain under lockdown. Despite botching up the initial response in Wuhan, authorities in China have since been fast […]
  • Feb 4, 2020
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    How big a threat is a nuclear terrorism? How did the AQ Khan network really work? And is arms control dead? In this special episode, Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice at the Harvard Kennedy School, joins Aditya Ramanathan and Pranav RS to discuss the challenges of our nuclear age. Subscribe and listen to the podcast […]
  • Feb 3, 2020
    This article original appeared in Deccan Chronicle. In the lead up to the 2020 Budget, the industry looked forward to two major announcements with respect to cyber security. First, the allocation of a specific ‘cyber security budget’ to protect the country’s critical infrastructure and support skill development. In 2019, even Rear Admiral Mohit Gupta (head […]
  • Feb 3, 2020
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    China’s has an ambitious plan to use artificial intelligence to transform its armed forces. But how would such changes affect nuclear stability? Lora Saalman, a leading expert on the subject joins Manoj Kewalramani, Pranav RS and Aditya Ramanathan to discuss the emerging challenges from Asia’s AI arms race. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: […]
  • Jan 31, 2020
    Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom from an Indian interests perspective.  I. The Coronavirus Outbreak Cases & Fatalities: The campaign to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus remains the big story across Chinese media. Here are the official numbers put out by the Chinese side: – 9,692 […]
  • Jan 31, 2020
    The debate and protests around the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens have dominated headlines around the nation, and rightfully so. While public attention and the news cycle continue to revolve around the issue, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has released a Personal Data Protection Bill. Since reading the […]
  • Jan 31, 2020
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    Medieval India is far more complicated than we give it credit for – it’s full of wily merchants, pragmatic rulers, and complex interactions. Anirudh Kanisetti and Aditya Ramanathan dive into 13th century Gujarat, discussing a fascinating inscription from Somnath and what it might tell us about how Hindus and Muslims saw each other at the […]
  • Jan 30, 2020
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    Takshashila’s policy proposal, ‘The New Space Policy 2020’ proposes a clear governance structure that paves the way for the growth of the nascent private space sector in India. The proposal seeks to decouple the policy, regulatory and service delivery roles of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Utkarsh Narain joins Pranay Kotasthane and Pranav RS […]
  • Jan 29, 2020
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    Tech researchers Rohini Lakshané and Prateek Waghre join Anirudh Kanisetti to discuss the whitelist of 301 sites that have been made accessible in Jammu & Kashmir. Their analysis highlights major issues with the practicalities of Internet bans – and points to worrisome implications for the future of Internet access in India. Subscribe and listen to […]
  • Jan 28, 2020
    Download the proposal in PDF. Executive Summary The New Space Policy 2020 proposes a clear policy and regulatory structure that paves the way for growth of the nascent private space sector in India, thus contributing towards national development and advancing the frontiers of science and technology. Specifically, this paper recommends: Decoupling the policy, regulatory, and […]
  • Jan 28, 2020
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    This post was originally published on Medianama By Rohini Lakshané and Prateek Waghre The Supreme Court gave a judgement on January 10, 2020 directing the Central government to review the total suspension of Internet services in Jammu and Kashmir imposed since August 5, 2019 and to restore essential services. In response, the government of Jammu […]
  • Jan 28, 2020
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    West Asia is notorious today for its geopolitical instability – but has that always been the case? What do the premodern states of the region tell us about today’s shifting dynamics? Aditya Ramanathan, Anirudh Kanisetti and Manoj Kewalramani trace out its long-term geopolitics. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify […]
  • Jan 28, 2020
    I. The Big Story: CMC’s Outlines to Strengthen Primary-level Units China’s Central Military Commission (CMC) released a set of outlines to strengthen the military at the primary level. The outlines, approved by President Xi Jinping, will take effect from February 1. The newly revised outlines adhere to Xi’s thought of ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.’ CMC issued […]
  • Jan 27, 2020
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    The Wuhan virus is already spreading across the world and taking a deadly toll. But what is the virus anyway and how does it spread? In this episode, Rohan Seth talks to Manoj Kewalramani and Shambhavi Naik to put these developments in context and talk about their implications. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: […]
  • Jan 25, 2020
    Amid CEO Jeff Bezos’s visit to India, Amazon’s India website displayed a full-page letter highlighting how Amazon was committed to its small and medium scale business partners. Bezos also announced that Amazon will invest an “incremental US $ 1 billion to digitise micro and small businesses in cities, towns and villages across India, helping them […]
  • Jan 25, 2020
    Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom from an Indian interests perspective. This week we cover Beijing’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, new developments in CPEC, Indian reactions to Xi’s Myanmar visit and much more…  I. CPEC & FATF: Xi Jinping is scheduled to travel to […]
  • Jan 24, 2020
    National Policy for Rare Diseases, 2020 India has an estimated 70-96 million people suffering from rare diseases. A draft national policy on rare diseases  has been released for public comments by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Comments can be emailed to kumar.pranav@nic.in by 15/02/2020. You can find the detailed policy here. Salient observations in […]
  • Jan 24, 2020
    Research institutions around the world on an average have 28.4 percent women employees. Indian research institutions have been unable to make even this poor benchmark. Women make up only 14 percent of 2.8 lakh scientists, engineers and technologists in research and development institutions in India. In the past few decades, while the number of women enrolled in science higher […]
  • Jan 24, 2020
    Indian media coverage of China often tends to be dominated by issues like national security and border frictions. There’s little original reportage around social issues, attitudes towards technology and women’s rights. In this episode Manoj Kewalramani speaks to journalist Sowmiya Ashok about her experiences of reporting on China’s dramatically changing society. Subscribe and listen to […]
  • Jan 23, 2020
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    What kind of products should a state-run PSU produce? Do PSUs make a profit? In this episode, Anupam Manur, Pranay Kotasthane and Sarthak Pradhan talk about the persistent role of state PSUs in India’s economy and what can be done about them. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or […]
  • Jan 22, 2020
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    India’s position on the Huawei question should be closer to that of the US and Japan (a ban from 5G critical infrastructure) rather than that of Kenya or the Netherlands (a conditional yes to Huawei). That’s because China is, after all, India’s adversary and its biggest strategic challenge. Given this situation, handing over critical communications […]
  • Jan 22, 2020
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    What power does the government have over your data? How should India approach global data sharing agreements? With the Joint Parliamentary Committee due to give its recommendations on the Data Protection Bill before the Budget Session, Prateek and Rohan sit down with Aditi Agrawal from Medianama to discuss the latest version of the bill. Subscribe […]
  • Jan 21, 2020
    The department of telecom (DoT) initiated the process for deploying 5G in the country on December 31, 2019 by calling for trial proposals. As a part of the process, telecom operators (Airtel, Vodafone Idea, Jio etc.) were supposed to team up with 5G equipment vendors (Nokia, Samsung, Ericsson, Huawei etc.) and submit their trial proposals. […]
  • Jan 21, 2020
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    Though people on average live longer today, there remain serious threats to global health. But do we know what these are? In this episode Anirudh Kanisetti talks to Shambhavi Naik to get her insights into a World Health Organization report on ten major risks to global health. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes […]
  • Jan 20, 2020
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    With the rise of China and the slow decline of the international system, how should countries think about the balance of power? In this special episode, Aditya Ramanathan and Manoj Kewalramani talk to Professor TV Paul from McGill University about soft balancing, the rise of China and its implications for India. Subscribe and listen to […]
  • Jan 19, 2020
    I. Hotline, Kashmir & Trade Let’s begin with Northern Army Commander Lt. General Ranbir Singh’s five-day visit to China. Beijing, Chengdu, Urumqi and Shanghai. The army says that “during the talks with the Chinese military officials, the delegation discussed a host of issues including border area management, improved bilateral military ties and defence cooperation activities.” The one big […]
  • Jan 17, 2020
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    What is the role of news media in India today and how do we assess its health? In this episode, Manoj Kewalramani and Suyash Desai sit down with veteran journalist and Rajya Sabha member Kumar Ketkar to discuss media governance, censorship, and alternate models of funding good journalism. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: […]
  • Jan 17, 2020
    I. The Big Story: Sino-Pakistan’s Sea Guardian-2020 Earlier this week, China and Pakistan completed their sixth naval exercise, titled Sea-Guardians-2020 in the northern Arabian Sea. A naval task group from China’s Western Theatre Command participated in the exercise. The Chinese fleet included destroyers, frigates, supply ships, submarine rescue boats, two carrier helicopters, and more than 60 marines. […]
  • Jan 16, 2020
    The US and China have finally signed the long-anticipated Phase 1 trade deal. Ahead of the deal, the US removed China from a list of countries considered currency manipulators. The final agreement has now been made public. It’s a 96-page document that comprises 8 chapters and annexes. The agreement comes into force within 30 days from Jan. 15, 2020, […]
  • Jan 16, 2020
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    Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen won a second four-year term in an historic election on January 11. Suyash Desai and Manoj Kewalramani join Anirudh Kanisetti to discuss the impact of Tsai’s re-election on the China-Taiwan relationship and its implications for the security dynamic in East Asia. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google […]
  • Jan 15, 2020
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    Should the government be allowed to know whom you’re texting? Should it be able to pressure social media companies to silence voices? With the IT Act due to be amended this month with rules on intermediary liability, Rohan and Utkarsh sit down with Torsha Sarkar from the Centre of Internet and Society to discuss implications. […]
  • Jan 14, 2020
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    Do countries really need a grand strategy? Can volunteers transform journalism? And what’s up with the curious phenomenon of ‘flight shaming’? In this episode, Sarthak Pradhan, Nischitha Suresh and Pranav R. Satyanath join Aditya Ramanathan for a lively discussion on the latest issues of Foreign Policy magazine. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes […]
  • Jan 13, 2020
    The Bill, in its current form, more or less tries to hand the government a blank cheque when it comes to accessing citizens’ data. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) is set to brief the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Data Protection Bill on January 14. As MEITY itself has drafted the Bill, […]
  • Jan 13, 2020
    States around the world are divided along the lines of how they should view the internet. On one end of the spectrum, there are calls to treat the internet somewhat as a fundamental right. For instance, the UN subscribes to this view and is publicly advocating for internet freedom and protection of rights online. On […]
  • Jan 13, 2020
    There are some keynotes in the tech world that serve as highlights of the year. There is Apple’s iPhone event and WWDC where Apple traditionally deals with software developments. Then there is Google’s IO, and also the Mobile World Congress. Virtually all of these are guaranteed to make news. Earlier last year, it was an […]
  • Jan 13, 2020
    Cross-strait ties are likely to get far more frosty, with serious implications for the security dynamic in East Asia, after Tsai Ing-wen’s victory in Taiwan’s presidential election. In many ways, Saturday’s was a historic election. Nearly 75 percent of the 19.31 million eligible voters cast their ballot, with Tsai bagging over 57 percent of the […]
  • Jan 13, 2020
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    The Narendra Modi-led government launched a ‘missed call campaign’ on January 3, 2019 asking people to give a missed call at a number to register their support for the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act. Home Minister Amit Shah has claimed that 52,72,000 missed calls have been received from verifiable phone numbers. What has been happening in […]
  • Jan 13, 2020
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    A high profile confrontation at sea between China and Indonesia comes even as countries in the region try to come up with a common code of conduct. Manoj Kewalramani and Suyash Desai join Aditya Ramanathan to discuss what 2020 holds for the South China Sea. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google […]
  • Jan 10, 2020
    Advertising and Claims Regulations, FSSAI  Earlier this week, the Maharashtra FDA seized food products worth INR 69 lakhs in lieu of misleading claims made by the manufacturers. In raids carried out at cold storages located at various places, FDA officers had found issues with three products. These are Nutralite Fat Spread of Zydus Wellness Pvt. […]
  • Jan 10, 2020
    Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom from an Indian interests perspective. This week Xi Jinping concludes the “staying true to our founding mission” campaign; party committees in enterprises get more teeth; tensions escalate in the South China Sea; India’s Northern Army Commander visits China and […]
  • Jan 10, 2020
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    What books did people at Takshashila read in 2019? What is the significance of these books? In this episode, Manoj Kewalramani, Nitin Pai and Rohan Seth list their favourite books from last year, and talk about how each book has influenced their thinking. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify […]
  • Jan 10, 2020
    I. The Big Story: PLA and Tibet The PLA has begun its major military exercises in the high-altitude Tibetan plateau bordering India. The Type 15 light battle tanks and the new type 155-MM howitzers are used for the exercises, a report claims. Another report claims that the Tibet military command has deployed helicopters, armoured vehicles, heavy artillery and anti-aircraft missiles across the […]
  • Jan 9, 2020
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    A strange revolution, a catastrophic invasion, a dramatic terrorist attack, and an economic transformation. Few years in modern history have been as consequential as 1979. Four decades on, Mano Kewalramani joins Aditya Ramanathan and Sankalp Gurjar to discuss how 1979 shaped our world. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify […]
  • Jan 8, 2020
    Download the Strategic Assessment in PDF Executive Summary Chinese President Xi Jinping has termed the “reunification” of Taiwan with the PRC as “a historic task” that is vital to the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. For the Communist Party of China, this is a core interest, underscored by the One-China Principle, that goes to the […]
  • Jan 8, 2020
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    The killing of Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds expeditionary force, is a pivotal moment in the history of modern West Asia. Aditya Ramanathan and Manoj Kewalramani join Anirudh Kanisetti to understand the man’s career, his influence on Iran’s foreign policy, and how his death will impact the geopolitics of the region. We […]
  • Jan 7, 2020
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    Anirudh Kanisetti and Utkarsh Narain join Aditya Ramanathan to discuss the most interesting stories of the week: China and the US are undergoing a divorce in hi-tech industries, Brazil’s Bolsanaro might have some upsides, and Australia is experiencing wildfires that could accelerate climate change. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts […]
  • Jan 6, 2020
    After Russia tested RuNet, what are the chances that India will try its hand at NayaBharatNet? In the final weeks of the last year, there were reports that Russia successfully tested RuNet, its ‘domestic internet’ that would be cut-off from the global internet. Specifics of the exercise are not known – whether for example it […]
  • Jan 6, 2020
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    Four years after its inception, China’s Strategic Support Force (SSF), which is responsible for cyber, space and electronic warfare, has become central to the PLA’s military capabilities. How has the SSF developed and how does it compare against its foreign counterparts? Manoj Kewalramani talks to Pranav RS and Suyash Desai to find out. Subscribe and […]
  • Jan 4, 2020
    India has carried out a major structural reform of its defence services with the appointment of Gen Bipin Rawat as the country’s first Chief of Defence Staff. The move finally implements recommendations made following the Kargil War aimed at strengthening national security but which had failed to find political consensus. The CDS’s job will be […]
  • Jan 3, 2020
    You may think that winning the streaming race depends on having the best content, but things have already begun to change. As of now, the company with the better bundle will win, and that’s why it makes sense for Disney to buy Spotify this year. To read the full article, visit OZY. Rohan is a […]
  • Jan 3, 2020
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    How does someone who wants to influence policy actually do so outside of government? How does a policy career help transform the country, and for that matter, how do you get into the policy space anyway? Anirudh Kanisetti talks to Apurva Kumar, Shibani Mehta and Sowmya Nandan about their journeys to find out.. Subscribe and […]
  • Jan 3, 2020
    I. The Big Story: PLA’s Hong Kong Warnings The PLA’s Hong Kong garrison held joint air and sea drills in the city’s harbour last week. The drills are seen as its latest attempt to warn anti-government protesters who are protesting since June 2019. Warships and speedboats joined armed helicopters, infantry, special troops and other combat forces from the […]
  • Jan 2, 2020
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    V. K. Krishna Menon is probably India’s most famous defence minister – especially for his role in the 1962 Sino-Indian War. But it turns out there’s a lot more to him than just that. From his role in the Freedom Struggle to his remarkable career as India’s Ambassador to the UN, Jairam Ramesh takes Anirudh […]
  • Dec 31, 2019
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    First it was payments and now it’s healthcare. Big Tech in the US and China is revolutionizing the health sector, with hundreds of billions of dollars of market share at stake. There are multiple factors that are driving this movement. For starters, there’s the simple need to find new avenues for growth for both American […]
  • Dec 31, 2019
    Apart from deciding on end-to-end encryption for chats, the amended IT Rules will also decide on what content belongs on the internet. Should Facebook be liable for the content you post? Should Apple build a backdoor to allow access to iPhones? Should the government know who you are texting and should it have access to […]
  • Dec 31, 2019
    People’s Liberation Army Strategic Support Force contingent made its debut appearance at China’s military day parade, earlier this year. Formed on this day in 2015, it is mandated to create synergies between China’s space, cyber and electronic warfare. The PLA considers these three domains critical for “commanding strategic heights.” The SSF was formed to optimise China’s dominance in […]
  • Dec 28, 2019
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    What do dolphins, artificial intelligence, and brain-machine interfaces have to tell us about the future of war? Manoj Kewalramani, Anirudh Kanisetti, and Aditya Ramanathan debate and criticise the ideas presented in the latest issue of MIT Technology Review. Manoj Kewalramani – @theChinaDude Anirudh Kanisetti – @AKanisetti Aditya Ramanathan – @adityar22 Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes […]
  • Dec 27, 2019
    Research Ethics  With the recent slew of articles being retracted by Indian authors amid accusations of scientific fraud and plagiarism, it is no surprise that governmental agencies are keen to make some changes. After DBT’s statement on research misconduct, it is now the UGC’s turn to take steps to tackle these issues. In a circular […]
  • Dec 27, 2019
    The Big Story: PLA in 2019 The year 2019 has been an interesting year for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. It started with President’s Xi Jinping’s speech demanding the PLA to be battle-ready and ending with China commissioning its second aircraft carrier, the Shandong. Many interesting things have happened in the past 12 months. Let’s do […]
  • Dec 26, 2019
    By Sarthak Pradhan India has one of the lowest drug prices in the world, yet many Indians are deprived of life-saving drugs. Price controls haven’t been enough to bridge this gap. The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority last week raised the ceiling price of 21 essential drugs by 50 per cent to offset the rise in cost of ingredients imported […]
  • Dec 25, 2019
    The Cabinet Committee on Security headed by PM Narendra Modi formally approved the post of Chief of Defence Staff Tuesday, and in the process, carried out a long-pending and major defence reform by creating an additional Department of Military Affairs in the Ministry of Defence and the post of Permanent Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (PC-COSC). While the intention of creating the post […]
  • Dec 25, 2019
    M. Taylor Fravel, Princeton University Press, New Jersey, 2019, 396 pp., US $35.00 (hardcover), ISBN 9780691152134 “Active Defense: China’s Military Strategy since 1949.” Strategic Analysis, ahead-of-print(ahead-of-print), pp. 1–2 Read here…
  • Dec 24, 2019
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    The Union government is asking for inputs on a cybersecurity strategy for a new India. Takshashila’s Tech Team, Prateek Waghre, Utkarsh Narain, and Rohan Seth talk about the shortcomings of the 2013 national cybersecurity policy and debate on what the upcoming 2020 policy should have. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google […]
  • Dec 24, 2019
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    How did India’s foreign policy hold up in 2019? From the ASAT test to Howdy Modi, Manoj Kewalramani, Pranay Kotasthane, Sankalp Gurjar and Suyash Desai discuss and debate the hits and misses in Indian foreign policy this year. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast app.
  • Dec 23, 2019
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    Earlier this year, it was discovered that India was the target of two cyberattacks in the same month. The malware attacks at the Kundankulam Nuclear Power Plant and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) are believed to be the outcomes of phishing attempts on employees. In 2018, it was reported that an officer of the Indian Air […]
  • Dec 23, 2019
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    What did 2019 mean for the Indian tech space? Rohan Seth talks to Utkarsh Narain and Prateek Waghre about how the debate has progressed in policy circles around data protection, facial recognition, social media, misinformation and other things tech. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast […]
  • Dec 23, 2019
    , and
    What did 2019 mean for the Indian tech space? Rohan Seth talks to Utkarsh Narain and Prateek Waghre about how the debate has progressed in policy circles around data protection, facial recognition, social media, misinformation and other things tech. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast […]
  • Dec 20, 2019
    I. The Big Story: China’s Second Aircraft Carrier China commissioned its first home-built aircraft carrier last week. The new warship, which was previously known as the Type 001A, will now be called the Shandong. President Xi Jinping attended the commissioning ceremony of the vessel. The vessel set out for its first sea-trials in May 2018 and was expected to be […]
  • Dec 20, 2019
    Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom from an Indian interests perspective. This week we cover Chinese ambassador to India’s PTI interview; Beijing’s view of protests in India; Wang Yi’s foreign policy assessment & Europe visit; China inducts a new aircraft carrier; and much more. I. India-China […]
  • Dec 20, 2019
    Take a look at these numbers – 3, 5, 6, 14, 31, 79, 134, 91. These are the numbers of documented instances of internet shutdowns in India between 2012 and 2019. The 2019 number will certainly rise during the final weeks of the year as anger against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the Bharatiya Janata Party rises. And yet, […]
  • Dec 19, 2019
    Democratic governments must be accountable to the public and provide a rationale for disrupting Internet services in a timely manner. In the interest of transparency, all governments should document the reasons, time, alternatives considered, decision-making authorities and the rules under which the shutdowns were imposed and release the documents for public scrutiny. This is the […]
  • Dec 19, 2019
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    What happens when Amazon enters or leaves an Indian city? In this episode, Manoj Kewalramani talks to Anupam Manur and Rohan Seth about how Amazon’s new fulfillment centres impact everything from local employment to public health Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast app.
  • Dec 19, 2019
    Values in Foreign Policy: Investing Ideals and Interests Edited by: Krishnan Srinivasan, James Mayall, Sanjay Pulipaka Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Pages: 269 What better time to discuss a subject when everyone seems to be ruing the absence of it. From that angle alone, this anthology “Values in Foreign Policy: Investigating Ideals and Interests” deserves attention […]
  • Dec 18, 2019
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    What does the Personal Data Protection Bill say about linking Aadhar to social media? What exactly will the proposed Data Protection Authority even do? Prateek Waghre and Utkarsh Narain discuss with Rohan Seth. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast app.
  • Dec 18, 2019
    Bill demands age verification and consent from guardians of children for data processing Shashi Tharoor has a strong case when he says that the personal data protection Bill should have come to the information technology standing committee. It does set a precedent when issues as important as the bill do not go through proper channels […]
  • Dec 17, 2019
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    What role do institutions of the state play in shaping government policy, and how do these institutions affect policy when in peril? In this edition of Reading the Economist, Anirudh Kanisetti, Pranav RS and Sarthak Pradhan discuss this with examples from Asia, Africa and Europe. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google […]
  • Dec 16, 2019
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    China’s fertility rate is down to just 1.6. The workforce is shrinking while the population of the elderly grows. At the same time, the now abandoned one-child policy has resulted in a skewed sex ratio. Given all this, could demography be a rising China’s Achilles Heel? Manoj Kewalramani, Suyash Desai join Pranay Kotasthane to discuss […]
  • Dec 14, 2019
    Policy Alert Recently some of the policies covered in previous Compound Eye issues have moved forward. Here is an update on some of the policies: Gene Therapy Guidelines The National Guidelines for Gene Therapy Product Development and Clinical Trials were released by ICMR in the last week of November. The guidelines cover all gene therapy products – defined […]
  • Dec 14, 2019
    You read a brochure that promises to tell you what diseases you are likely to get in the next decade. Obviously you want to lead a longer, healthier life. So you send a cheek swab to the clinic and await test results. Thankfully, your reports are largely all-clear except a minor mutation which would likely […]
  • Dec 13, 2019
    The Print’s daily roundtable TalkPoint posed a question connected to the foreign policy implications of the Citizenship Amendment Bill and the National Register of Indian Citizens: CAB, NRC, Kashmir: Is Modi govt damaging India’s diplomatic standing for domestic politics?  ‘Neighbourhood first’ was supposed to be the guiding principle of Modi government’s foreign policy. But all three measures — […]
  • Dec 13, 2019
    Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom from an Indian interests perspective. This week we cover developments related to the Quad, China’s economic policy, tech sector developments, Wang Yi’s trip to Myanmar, the Sino-US deal and much more. I. 2+2 = Quad In September this year, […]
  • Dec 13, 2019
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    Getting to space has never been as easy as it is today, but this has also opened the doors for a new space race. In this episode, Aditya Ramanathan and Pranay Kotasthane talk to Pranav RS about our new paper on space power and space warfare, and discuss the new opportunities offered by space. Subscribe […]
  • Dec 12, 2019
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    Contrary to popular belief, Pakistan’s military-jihadi complex (MJC) has not been brought to its knees by Balakot, Uri, or even FATF. India’s actions in Kashmir, for example, have provided the MJC with the perfect excuse to interfere as it does best. The reason for its current quiet is internal political turmoil connected to COAS Bajwa. […]
  • Dec 12, 2019
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    The rapid expansion of digital penetration in India brings with it the need to strengthen cybersecurity. The critical nature of the myriad cyber threats that India faces was underscored by the recent breach at the Kudankulam nuclear power plant and the Indian Space Research Organisation. These were just two of the 1,852 cyber-attacks that are […]
  • Dec 12, 2019
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    The term “cyber warfare” has come into vogue in recent times, but nobody seems to know what it actually is. In this episode, Anirudh Kanisetti sits down with Prateek Waghre, Pranav RS and Shibani Mehta to talk about cyberwarfare and what countries are doing to deal with new threats in cyberspace. Subscribe and listen to […]
  • Dec 11, 2019
    Download the paper in PDF Executive Summary The modern space age is characterised by low cost access to space. One consequence of this development is increased competition in the military sphere. This review paper examines the current literature on space power and space warfare to explain why technology in both the civilian and military domain […]
  • Dec 11, 2019
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    After last week’s annual summit, cracks seem to be appearing in NATO over Russia, Turkey, and even the USA. Is this anti-Soviet alliance finally on its last legs, 70 years after it was formed? Anirudh Kanisetti and Sankalp Gurjar discuss with Manoj Kewalramani. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify […]
  • Dec 11, 2019
    Nityananda’s Kailaasa, located off the coast of Ecuador, has its own flag, recognised a set of official languages and even set up a department for homeland security and defence. To all appearances, it seems like a legitimate country and may inspire more to establish their own. But creating a new country is not as easy […]
  • Dec 10, 2019
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    In this week’s Reading the Economist, Apurva Kumar and Suyash Desai join Anirudh Kanisetti to discuss global inequality and how bad policies are holding us back from tackling climate change. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast app.
  • Dec 9, 2019
    Data Protection Authority can potentially deal with brokers and the negative externality Indian tech policy is shifting from formative to decisive. Arguably the biggest increment in this shift comes this week as the Personal Data Protection Bill will (hopefully) be debated and passed by the parliament. The bill itself has gone through public (and private) […]
  • Dec 9, 2019
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    Anirudh Kanisetti and Suyash Desai join Manoj Kewalramani to further unpack our report to India’s Parliament on China’s rise. This is part 2 of 2, exploring how China has impacted India’s economy and geopolitics – and what India needs to do about it. Read the full report here: An Indian Approach to Navigate China’s Rise […]
  • Dec 7, 2019
    While the Indian Space Research Organisation is doing a commendable job, the participation of private space companies from India, at the global stage is still very limited. India must adopt an enabling policy framework and incorporate independent & fair institutional design mechanisms to promote NewSpace startups in the country. Establishment of independent space regulatory authority, […]
  • Dec 7, 2019
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    It is an exciting time to be in the Indian tech policy space right now. The government has listed the Personal Data Protection Bill in Parliament for the winter session. The Union Cabinet has aprroved the Bill and it is likely to be introduced for discussion before the on-going winter session of Parliament ends on […]
  • Dec 6, 2019
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    Takshashila researchers Manoj Kewalramani, Anirudh Kanisetti and Shibani Mehta unpack our latest research: a report to India’s Parliament about China’s rise. This is part 1 of 2, exploring the sources of China’s power and global influence and how they have grown over the decades. Check out the full report here: An Indian Approach to Navigate […]
  • Dec 6, 2019
    I. The Big Story: India’s PLA Caution: Land and Sea The Indian Navy claims that it drove away a Chinese vessel from the Andaman waters in September this year. It claims that the Chinese research vessel was indulging in suspicious activities near India’s strategically located Andaman and Nicobar tri-service command. “Our stand is that if you have to do […]
  • Dec 6, 2019
    Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom from an Indian interests perspective. This week we cover Wang Yi’s upcoming India visit; Xiaomi launches new credit platform; China’s engagement in South Asia; the trade war; CPEC’s troubles; protests in Hong Kong and much more. I. SR Talks, IOR, […]
  • Dec 5, 2019
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    Download the Discussion Document in PDF Executive Summary The rise of China as an emerging global power has significant implications for India’s pursuit of its core interests. While old sources of friction between the two countries persist, shifting global power dynamics and technological advancements present new challenges and opportunities. In this backdrop, this report argues […]
  • Dec 4, 2019
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    Are new developments eroding the credibility of India’s no first use policy? Is North Korea going to spark a crisis in the new year? In this episode, Aditya Ramanathan and Pranav R.S. talk to Vipin Narang, Associate Professor at MIT about India’s counterforce temptations and the latest nuclear tensions in northeast Asia. Also check out: […]
  • Dec 3, 2019
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    The Karnataka government is set to release a new industrial policy next month with the goal of encouraging investment in tier-II cities. As it has been in the past, this goal is likely to be framed in zero-sum terms i.e. achieved by pushing IT companies to move away from Bengaluru and in other cities instead. We […]
  • Dec 3, 2019
    and
    Annual stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana is a major cause of pollution in North India and a serious public health crisis. While the problem is well known, the solutions are not. In this episode, Anupam Manur and Pranay Kotasthane use an economic perspective to derive possible solutions to lessen crop burning. Subscribe and listen […]
  • Dec 3, 2019
    With the People’s Republic of China (PRC) marking its 70th founding anniversary on October 1, the grand military parade at Tiananmen Square was the highlight of the celebrations. It showcased China’s newer arms, ammunition, and technology. Over 15,000 personnel, 160 aircraft, and 580 pieces of military equipment participated in the military parade, including sophisticated weaponry such as hypersonic missiles, […]
  • Dec 2, 2019
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    Do hi-tech industries create regionally unbalanced development? If so, is it a problem governments can address? In this episode, Pranay Kotasthane and Anupam Manur debate the challenges, pitfalls and paradoxes of industrial policies. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast app.
  • Dec 2, 2019
    India’s response to China’s diplomatic offensive of recent years has been inconsistent and sporadic. Using diplomatic tools in an institutionalised way to highlight China’s vulnerabilities is something India refrains from. This, despite China’s increased diplomatic activism against India. For instance, China raised the dilution of Article 370 in the United Nations Security Council on behalf […]
  • Nov 30, 2019
    The Print’s daily roundtable TalkPoint posed a question connected to the new Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s India visit: With strong leaders like Rajapaksa, Hasina, Oli, is India losing dominance in South Asia? My response: Strong leaders or not, these sovereign South Asian states will continue to pursue their independent foreign policies based on their strategic priorities. The […]
  • Nov 29, 2019
    I. The Big Story: Xi’s Military Reforms The Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for efforts to cultivate a new type of military personnel who are competent, professional and possess both integrity and ability. He attended the opening ceremony of the training of Presidents of the military schools and academies at the National Defence University […]
  • Nov 29, 2019
    Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom from an Indian interests perspective. This week we focus on the developments in the Sino-Indian relationship; Xi’s focus on military education; nearly 13% of Chinese banks being highly risky; protests in Hong Kong; new leaks from Xinjiang and much […]
  • Nov 29, 2019
    Mastodon is what’s happening in India right now. Indian Twitter users are moving to the platform and have taken to using hashtags such as #CasteistTwitter and #cancelallBlueTicksinIndia. A key reason for this to transpire is that Twitter has been, to put it mildly, less than perfect, in moderating content in India. There is the incident […]
  • Nov 29, 2019
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    The post-Soviet military of Russia has evolved into a fighting force for the 21st century. How has Russia achieved this and how do the Russians spend their money on weapons? To discuss a new report talking about these issues, Aditya Ramanathan sits down with Anirudh Kanisetti and Pranav RS to dig deeper. Aditya Ramanathan – @adityar22 […]
  • Nov 29, 2019
    The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019 The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019 was passed by the Indian Parliament on 26th November despite considerable opposition by members of the Rajya Sabha and the transgender community. In 2014, the supreme court in a landmark judgement in the case of National Legal Services Authority versus […]
  • Nov 29, 2019
    The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has launched an ambitious project, IndiGen, to sequence whole genomes of diverse ethnic Indian population to develop public health technology applications. The CSIR last month announced sequencing of 1,008 Indian genomes as part of the project. It aims to complete sequencing of at least 10,000 Indian genomes over the next three […]
  • Nov 27, 2019
    Advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies over the next decade will have a profound impact on the nature of warfare. Increasing use of precision weapons, training simulations and unmanned vehicles are merely the tip of the iceberg. AI technologies, going forward, will not only have a direct battlefield impact in terms of weapons and equipment but […]
  • Nov 27, 2019
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    How does China plan to use its expanding submarine fleet? And what does it mean for India? Aditya Ramanathan, Pranav RS and Suyash Desai dive into the murky world of military competition that lurks beneath the waves. Aditya Ramanathan – @adityar22 Suyash Desai – @Suyash_Desai Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify […]
  • Nov 26, 2019
    As a global community, we should have a more visible and informed choice in what content we want to consume. The full article is available here. Rohan is a Policy Analyst at The Takshashila Institution.
  • Nov 26, 2019
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    The US-South Korea alliance is on shaky ground. China is looking to expand its nuclear arsenal. The parallels between Sri Lankan and Indian politics. And are tech companies ignoring women when designing products? Utkarsh Narain and Pranav RS join Manoj Kewalramani to talk about all this and more in this week’s Reading The Economist. Subscribe […]
  • Nov 25, 2019
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    External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar’s Ramnath Goenka Lecture last week was hailed by some as a landmark speech. But did it really lay out a new vision for Indian foreign policy? Sankalp Gurjar and Suyash Desai join Manoj Kewalramani to discuss. Sankalp Gurjar – @SankalpGurjar Suyash Desai – @Suyash_Desai Manoj Kewalramani – @theChinaDude (https://twitter.com/thechinadude) Subscribe and listen to the […]
  • Nov 23, 2019
    Over the course of the last few weeks, we have seen Facebook and Twitter take opposing views on the issue of political ads. While the issue itself does not have an immediate implication for Indian politics, the decisions of the two companies, their actions throughout the episode and reactions to them are emblematic of the […]
  • Nov 22, 2019
    Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom from an Indian interests perspective. This week we cover the fallout of Sri Lanka’s presidential election; Rajnath Singh’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh; the protests in Hong Kong; China’s revision of its GDP and much more. I. India-China Relations There’s […]
  • Nov 22, 2019
    In a recent development (Economic Times, 9th September 2019), The Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) is considering issuing guidelines under the Information Technology Act that will require agencies and companies to sell public and non-personal data to anyone in the country, including the government. This marks a difference from the usual policy position of […]
  • Nov 22, 2019
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    Since the first mushroom cloud erupted over Hiroshima, there’s been a strong belief that nukes have fundamentally changed international politics. But is this true? In this special episode, political scientists Keir Lieber and Daryl Press talk to Aditya Ramanathan and Pranav RS about the myth of the nuclear revolution. “The End of MAD?” article by […]
  • Nov 22, 2019
    I. The Big Story: PLA in Hong Kong The People’s Liberation Army soldiers were spotted cleaning-up the Hong Kong’s streets last week. Their presence raised concerns in China’s autonomous region. Social media feeds showed men in green and black uniforms with Chinese flags on their shoulders, “voluntarily clearing the streets.” Although several thousands of the PLA soldiers are located in […]
  • Nov 21, 2019
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    A New York Times report based on leaked internal Chinese documents sheds fresh light on the unprecedented crackdown on ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. Suyash Desai, Sankalp Gurjar and Manoj Kewalramani discuss the report and the global reaction to China’s internment of Uighurs. Suyash Desai – @Suyash_Desai Sankalp Gurjar – @SankalpGurjar Manoj Kewalramani – @theChinaDude Subscribe and listen to […]
  • Nov 20, 2019
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    Why have Indian Twitter users started moving to Mastodon? What is the so-called Fediverse, and will it replace Twitter? Utkarsh Narain, Anirudh Kanisetti and Prateek Waghre break it down. Utkarsh Narain – @utkarsh01 Anirudh Kanisetti – @AKanisetti Prateek Waghre – @prateekwaghre Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast app.
  • Nov 19, 2019
    Recent developments in online advertising have been uplifting. Facebook (and by extension, Instagram) has been running a policy that is meant to block predatory ads that target people who are overweight or have skin conditions, pushing unusual and often medically dangerous miracle cures. Google, which makes over $100 billion in online ad revenue, has also […]
  • Nov 19, 2019
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    An unwieldy coalition is set to rule Spain but will it last? What good are aircraft carriers in today’s world? How are online platforms like Netflix changing media competition? Sankalp Gurjar, Utkarsh Narain and Manoj Kewalramani talk about all this and more in this week’s Reading The Economist Manoj Kewalramani – @theChinaDude Sankalp Gurjar – @SankalpGurjar Utkarsh […]
  • Nov 19, 2019
    Sri Lanka’s geo-strategic location will continue to attract foreign powers like China and the United States (US) and therefore the tussle between them is likely to be played out in Sri Lanka. In this context, India’s ability to shape Sri Lankan policies will be tested. Moreover, how Gotabaya Rajapaksa engages with China will also be watched […]
  • Nov 18, 2019
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    The IndiGen project will map genes across India’s ethnic groups to discover clinically actionable genetic information. Shambhavi Naik, Pranay Kotasthane and Anirudh Kanisetti discuss the importance of this project, the opportunities it presents and the challenges it faces. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast app.
  • Nov 18, 2019
    The recent revelations about NSO group’s Pegasus being used to target an estimated two dozen Indian lawyers and activists using the vulnerabilities in Whatsapp have once again brought the issue of targeted surveillance of citizens into focus. As the saying goes, no good crisis should go to waste. This is an opportunity to raise public […]
  • Nov 16, 2019
    India and China are the only nuclear powers which adhere to a No First Use policy, based on the rationale that the only role of nuclear weapons is to deter their own kind. With overwhelming evidence now available regarding nuclear explosions and climate change, it is time that India and China jointly take the lead […]
  • Nov 15, 2019
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    New technologies are pushing the boundaries of how long humans beings can lead healthy lives. In this episode, Manoj Kewalramani, Shambhavi Naik, and Ganesh Chakravarthy debate the scientific and philosophical questions that stem from the human quest for immortality. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast […]
  • Nov 15, 2019
    Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom from an Indian interests perspective. This week we cover the Xi-Modi meeting in Brazil; weak economic data; China’s small bank jitters; violence in Hong Kong worsens; US-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s annual report and much more… I. Xi-Modi Meet, RCEP […]
  • Nov 15, 2019
    The Seeds Bill, 2019 Seeds occupy a seat of high importance in Indian agriculture. The long struggle to replace the Seeds Act, 1966 with a fresh legislation began in 2004 and has entered its latest battle with the introduction of The Seeds Bill, 2019. The Bill’s stated objective is “to provide for regulating the quality of seeds, […]
  • Nov 14, 2019
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    Was Jawaharlal Nehru a starry-eyed foreign policy optimist? Did he have a more realist strategy than we like to think? And how did his actions shape the future trajectory of Indian diplomacy? On the late PM’s 130th birth anniversary, Sankalp Gurjar and Manoj Kewalramani join Anirudh Kanisetti to discuss his complicated legacy. Subscribe and listen […]
  • Nov 13, 2019
    जागतिक इतिहासाला वळण देणाऱ्या ज्या काही फार कमी घटना असतात त्यात बर्लिनभिंतीच्या पाडावाचा समावेश करता येईल. ९ नोव्हेंबर १९८९ या दिवशी पूर्व बर्लिन आणि पश्चिम बर्लिन यांना विभागणारी ही भिंत पाडण्याची प्रक्रिया सुरू झाली. या दिवशी जुने जग लयाला गेले आणि नव्या जगाची चाहूल लागली. त्यानंतरची २० वर्षे लोकशाहीच्या प्रसाराची, आर्थिक समृद्धीची, तंत्रज्ञानाच्या वेगवान प्रगतीची […]
  • Nov 13, 2019
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    How will climate change transform societies and economies? What solutions do we have ready right now? Australian climate change scholar Prof Tim Flannery joins Manoj Kewalramani and Sankalp Gurjar in today’s episode to explain. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast app.
  • Nov 12, 2019
    and
    Why are nuclear arms control agreement between the US and Russia falling apart or under pressure? What new dangers do they pose? And what can be done about them? In this episode, arms control expert Petr Topychkanov talks to Aditya Ramanathan and Pranav RS about the way ahead. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: […]
  • Nov 11, 2019
    India is creating a national facial recognition system. If you live in India, you should be concerned about what this could lead to. It is easy to draw parallels with 1984 and say that we are moving towards Big Brother at pace, and perhaps we are. But a statement like that, for better or worse, […]
  • Nov 11, 2019
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    How is the post-election politics shaping up in Afghanistan? What is the prospect of peace after the Presidential elections in September? Pranay Kotasthane talks to Anand Arni and Sankalp Gurjar. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast app.
  • Nov 8, 2019
    I. The Big Story: US-China Defence Ties; Strategic Competition in AI Wei Fenghe, China’s Defence Minister and Mark Esper, US Defence Secretary discussed Hong Kong, Taiwan, the South China Sea and Xinjiang over a video call on Tuesday. No details of Wei’s comments on any of the four topics were out, although he has issued a […]
  • Nov 8, 2019
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    How should great powers support local governments fighting insurgencies? And is the Indian Army’s Cold Start doctrine still relevant? In this episode, Walter C Ladwig III, an associate professor at King’s College London, joins Manoj Kewalramani and Aditya Ramanathan for a freewheeling discussion on his latest book, The Forgotten Front, as well as his landmark 2007 […]
  • Nov 7, 2019
    and
    On this episode, Dr Manpreet Sethi, distinguished fellow at the Centre for Air Power Studies, tells Aditya Ramanathan and Pranav RS why nuclear no-first-use is the best strategy for India. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast app.
  • Nov 6, 2019
    and
    What is realism in international relations? Where are the Indian realists? And what do they think of the India-China relationship? Prof. Rajesh Rajagopalan of Jawaharlal Nehru University discusses with Sankalp Gurjar and Pranay Kotasthane. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast app.
  • Nov 5, 2019
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    China’s nuclear arsenal has evolved and expanded since its first nuclear test in 1964. In this episode, Sankalp Gurjar talks to Pranav RS and Suyash Desai about how Chinese thinking on nuclear weapons has changed over the years. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast app.
  • Nov 5, 2019
    If you are among the millions personally suffering from the acute air pollution in Delhi and many other parts of north India, now is not an appropriate time for a deeper reflection on the underlying causes of this human disaster. This is not to absolve the state and union governments involved. Nor is it to absolve […]
  • Nov 4, 2019
    The personal data protection bill is yet to become a law and the debate is still rife on the costs and benefits of data localisation. It is yet to be seen officially if the government is going to mandate localisation in the data protection bill and to whom it is going to apply. Regardless of […]
  • Nov 4, 2019
    Pegasus, the software that infamously hacked WhatsApp earlier this year, is a tool developed to help government intelligence and law enforcement agencies to battle cybercrime and terror. Once installed on a mobile device, it can collect contacts, files, and passwords. It can also ‘overcome’ encryption, and use GPS to pinpoint targets. More importantly, it is […]
  • Nov 4, 2019
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    Standard economic wisdom tells you people are self-interested, rational actors. But behavioural science says otherwise. How can we better understand the irrationalities that guide our daily existence, and how can we use that to achieve better policy outcomes in India? Pooja Haldea, Advisor at Ashoka University’s Center for Social and Behavioural Change (CSBC), explains the […]
  • Nov 2, 2019
    शीतयुद्धाच्या काळात बहुतांश अमेरिकी अभ्यासक सोव्हिएत रशिया व युरोपीय संरक्षण याविषयीच्या अभ्यासात गुंतलेले होते, तेव्हा जाणीवपूर्वक भारत आणि दक्षिण आशियाविषयक अभ्यासाकडे वळलेले स्टीफन कोहेन यांचे नुकतेच निधन झाले. त्यांच्या अभ्यासकीय कारकीर्दीची ओळख करून देणारा हा लेख.. 
  • Nov 2, 2019
    The Big Story: Border Personnel Meeting The Indian Army and People’s Liberation Army held a Border Personnel Meeting (BPM) on the Chinese side at Bum La, Arunachal Pradesh on October 30. BPM was marked by the unfurling of national flags followed by a formal address by the delegation leaders and discussion of various issues between the two armies. “The mutual desire […]
  • Nov 1, 2019
    DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2018: The first edition of Compound Eye discussed the DNA Technology Bill 2018. It subsequently lapsed after the previous Lok Sabha dissolved before the national elections. It was subsequently re-introduced in the current Lok Sabha and has now been sent to a Parliamentary Committee on Science and Technology […]
  • Nov 1, 2019
    [Co-authored with Murali Neelakantan] With a decade-long history of deliberations, the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill 2018 is no stranger to the halls of Parliament. It is currently being scrutinised by the Parliamentary Committee on Science and Technology, after it was reintroduced in the Lok Sabha earlier this year. The Bill seeks to […]
  • Nov 1, 2019
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    A new paper has made some interesting recommendations for how India’s armed forces can manage the challenge from China. But are they feasible? General Prakash Menon and Manoj Kewalramani join Aditya Ramanathan to discuss. The paper from Center for a New American Security (CNAS) can be found here: Imbalance of Power Subscribe and listen to […]
  • Oct 31, 2019
    Central to the drama of 2019 is the Election Commission, an institution that India used to be proud of but which, in my view, no longer deserves the praise. I am referring to neither the allegations of tampered Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), nor the Election Commission’s weak-kneed approach towards insisting that the BJP follow the Model Code of Conduct […]
  • Oct 31, 2019
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    In the last two decades, Africa has seen extraordinary leaps in access to mobile phones, sparking an IT revolution across the continent. Andre-Michel Essoungou, Cameroonian journalist and Political Officer at the United Nations, joins Anirudh Kanisetti and Rohan Seth on the sidelines of the Observer Researcher Foundations’s CyFy conference to discuss how this will change […]
  • Oct 30, 2019
    The Print’s daily roundtable TalkPoint posed a question connected to the unofficial trip of twenty-seven European Union MPs to Jammu and Kashmir: Modi govt allows mostly far-Right EU MPs to J&K: Smart diplomacy to counter Western liberals? The Indian government has lost the plot if this unofficial trip is being held to ‘counter Western liberals’. The opinion […]
  • Oct 30, 2019
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    As CCTVs become more ubiquitous in Indian cities and facial recognition algorithms become more advanced, we may be moving towards a world where technology is used to violate individuals’ privacy and their fundamental rights. Apar Gupta, Executive Director at the Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF), discusses the social and political ramifications, and what civil society can […]
  • Oct 29, 2019
    A bit of math can better secure your communications than all the guns in the world combined. That is the beauty of end to end encryption which currently runs on WhatsApp. It makes messages shared between people private so that only the sender and the recipient can view what is being said. On a related […]
  • Oct 29, 2019
    The manner in which the Indian state has treated telecom is indicative of the disdain it has for a sector that has underpinned the country’s rise to an aspiring global power in the last 25 years. If we have to fix the problems we’ve created, it’s important to enumerate the big policy mistakes we have made. […]
  • Oct 28, 2019
    Two global rankings were announced recently. One was the 2019 “Doing Business” report published by the World Bank, which was earlier called the “Ease of Doing Business” (EODB) India jumped to 63 from 77 last year. The improvement is dramatic, and in just five years India has improved its global position from 142 to 63. […]
  • Oct 28, 2019
    Despite holding two grand events in the last month, India has not gained anything significant on the diplomatic front. Neither ‘Howdy Modi’ in Houston nor Modi-Xi summit in Mamallapuram resulted in resolving outstanding issues in the bilateral relationships with the United States (US) and China… Therefore, what exactly did these two grand events achieve? Who was […]
  • Oct 26, 2019
    मुगाबे यांनी 2017 च्या डिसेंबरमध्ये 37 वर्षांच्या प्रदीर्घ काळानंतर नाइलाजाने सत्तात्याग केला. सप्टेंबर 2019 मध्ये त्यांचे वयाच्या 95 व्या वर्षी निधन झाले. आता झिम्बाब्वेत सत्ताबदल झालेला असला तरी, तो देश अजूनही भीषण परिस्थितीतच आहे. त्यामुळे हेन्री व अँडी यांना आपल्या देशात पुन्हा जाता येईल का, स्थायिक होता येईल का? या प्रश्नाचे उत्तर आज तरी देता […]
  • Oct 26, 2019
    Even as India pushes for data decryption access from Big Tech for better law enforcement, there is a larger issue of how Big Tech is not quite the paragon of virtue when it comes to upholding user privacy. If the Indian government does get social media platforms to part with user data, it should remember […]
  • Oct 25, 2019
    The Big Story: China’s Xiangshan Forum The 9th Xiangshan Forum concluded in Beijing on 23rd October. More than 1,300 people, 76 official delegates, defence ministers from 23 countries, representatives and scholars from international organizations, and military observers of various countries attended the forum. The forum was themed, “Maintaining International Order and Promoting Peace in the Asia-Pacific.” The Chinese President Xi Jinping […]
  • Oct 25, 2019
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    With an election in limbo and uncertain peace talks, Afghanistan’s long war could pack some surprises for India. In this special episode, Nitin Pai joins Ambassador Nirupama Rao and Lt General Prakash Menon to discuss how India can best craft an effective Afghan strategy. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts […]
  • Oct 25, 2019
    Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom from an Indian interests perspective. This week we cover new details from the Xi-Modi talks; US VP Mike Pence’s big China speech; EU awards Uighur activist; Beijing prepares for 4th plenum of 19th CPC Congress; China’s engagement in the […]
  • Oct 24, 2019
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    The informal summit in Mamallapuram between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping may have generated photo ops, but does it provide a way forward for ties between Asia’s two giants? Nitin Pai sparks debate between Lt General Prakash Menon and Ambassador Nirupama Menon Rao. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox […]
  • Oct 23, 2019
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    In the recent past, In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) or assisted reproductive technologies has enabled women of older age to bear children. What are the ethical dilemmas of such births? Should the government regulate them? Shambhavi Naik thrown open this question to Anupam Manur and Sowmya Nandan for debate. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: […]